Episode 109. Bernard Kruysen

Episode 109. Bernard Kruysen: Baryton Martin extraordinaire



Bernard Kruysen (28 March 1933 – 30 October 2000)

Today I celebrate the life and artistry of Bernard Kruysen (1933-2000), the Dutch singer whose voice exemplified that now nearly extinct vocal category, the baryton martin. I discuss just what constitutes a baryton martin and why in his prime Kruysen such was an ideal representative. I also discuss the larger question of the performance of the French art song, the mélodie, and why Kruysen was also exceptional in this regard, using as an example his 1960s recorded performances of three complete song cycles by Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, and Francis Poulenc. I also feature the artist singing art songs by Schumann and Mussorgsky and works by Bach, Quirinus van Blankenburg, and Jan Mul. The episode also includes tributes to recently departed artists Karan Armstrong (singing Korngold and Menotti) and Carlisle Floyd (in performances of his work by Mary Mills and Norman Treigle).

Hubert Raidich (1885-1979), Bernard Kruysen’s stepfather, discussed in the episode


Karan Armstrong (14 December 1941 – 28 September 2021)

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die alte Laute… Glück, das mir verblieb (Die tote Stadt). Karan Armstrong, James King, Heinrich Hollreiser, Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin [live 1983]

Carlisle Floyd (11 June 1926 – 30 September 2021)

Carlisle Floyd: Ain’t it a pretty night (Susannah). Mary Mills, David Robertson [live 2003]

Norman Treigle

Carlisle Floyd: Man that is born of a woman (Pilgrimage, No. 1). Norman Treigle, Werner Torkanowsky, New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra [live December 1971]

Gian Carlo Menotti: Nocturne. Karan Armstrong, Helga Storck, Alfred Lutz, Mischa Salevic, Stephan Blaumer, Klaus Kühr [1988]

Francis Poulenc and Bernard Kruysen in concert, Monton 1962

Claude Debussy, Tristan l’Hermite: La grotte (Trois chansons de France, L.115/2). Bernard Kruysen, Francis Poulenc [live, Festival de Monton 1962]

Gabriel Fauré, Paul Verlaine: Cinq mélodies de Venise, Op.58 [Mandoline; En sourdine; Green; À Clymène; C’est l’extase] Bernard Kruysen, Noël Lee [1964]

Stéphane Mallarmé

Claude Debussy: Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, F.127 [Soupir; Place futile; Éventail]. Bernard Kruysen, Jean-Charles Richard [1961]

Quirinus van Blankenburg: Je bannis la rêverie (L’Apologie des Femmes). Bernard Kruysen, Sonata da Camera Ensemble [1966]

Jan Mul (20 September 1911 – 30 December 1971)

Jan Mul: Lettre de M. l’Abbé d’Olivet à M. le Président Bouhier [excerpt] Bernard Kruysen, André Rieu, Limburg Symphony Orchestra [live 6 May 1966]

Helmut Winschermann (22 March 1920 – 4 March 2021)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Endlich will mein Joch (Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56/3. Bernard Kruysen, Helmut Winschermann [oboe], Helmut Kahlhöfer, Collegium Instrumentale Wuppertal [1965]

Robert Schumann, Heinrich Heine: Der arme Peter, Op. 53/3 [Der Hans und die Grete tanzen herum; In meiner Brust, da sitzt ein Weh; Der arme Peter wankt vorbei]. Bernard Kruysen, Jean-Charles Richard [1963]

Robert Schumann: Sechs Lieder von Nikolaus Lenau, Op.90/1,2: Lied eines Schmiedes; Meine Rose. Bernard Kruysen, Jean-Charles Richard [1964]

Noël Lee (December 25, 1924 – July 15, 2013)

Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Ivanovich Grekov: Где ты, звездочка [Where are you, little star?]. Bernard Kruysen, Noël Lee [1966]

Edmond Rostand

Emmanuel Chabrier, Edmond Rostand: Ballade des gros dindons. Bernard Kruysen, Felix de Nobel [1964]

Guillaume Apollinaire

Francis Poulenc, Guillaume Apollinaire: Banalités [Chanson d’Orkenise; Hôtel; Fagnes de Wallonie, Voyage à Paris; Sanglots]. Bernard Kruysen, Jean-Charles Richard [1966]

Francis Poulenc, Charles d’Orléans: Priez pour paix. Bernard Kruysen, Richard Ram [1978]

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